Woody Harrelson joins the Stars Wars galaxy as young Han Solo's mentor

Woody Harrelson, 55, will act in the second film in the Star Wars anthology series.
Woody Harrelson, 55, will act in the second film in the Star Wars anthology series.PHOTO: AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) - Woody Harrelson will be heading to a galaxy far, far away for his next movie, playing a role in a Star Wars stand-alone film focused on a young Han Solo.

Lucasfilm said on Wednesday (Jan 11) in a statement that the 55-year-old Oscar nominee will join Alden Ehrenreich, who will play the younger version of smuggler and space pirate Han Solo. The cast will also include Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian, and Emilia Clarke of Game Of Thrones fame in an undisclosed role.

"We couldn't be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody," said Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of the film due out for release next year. "His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping-pong."

Hunger Games actor Harrelson told Mashable on Facebook Live that he would be playing a "mentor to Han, but I'm also a bit of a criminal". "I don't think I should say much more than that, because the Force is not allowing me," he added.

The as-yet-untitled film is the second in a series of stand-alone films - after Rogue One - that take place before the events of the first Star Wars movie.